University of Queensland (UQ) academics have been awarded the  ICT Research and Development prize for their face-recognition technology that improves the speed and accuracy of identifying faces for law-enforcement at the Asia-Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA) in Thailand.

The academics, working in collaboration with National ICT Australia's (NICTA) Queensland Research Laboratory and the Queensland government, created NICTA's Face Search Engine to improve face recognition in grainy, low quality video footage, potentially saving precious police time.

NICTA's Advanced Surveillance Project Leader and UQ academic, Professor Brian Lovell said the Face Search Engine is the product of five years research by a committed and dedicated team.

The Advanced Surveillance Project is the result of a collaboration between NICTA, Australia's ICT Research Centre of Excellence, and the National Security Science and Technology (NSST) Branch within the National Security and International Policy Group which resides in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The APICTA Awards is an international awards program which aims to increase ICT awareness in the community and assist in bridging the digital divide.

UQ's Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Professor Max Lu said the technology developed by Professor Lovell and his colleagues has the potential to save police time and reduce the rate of crime not only in Australia, but throughout the world.